back to article GTA maker coughs up $20m for 'hot coffee' sex

Take-Two Interactive will shuffle $20 million out the door to make its "hot coffee" headaches go away. The game publisher said Wednesday it has settled a longstanding class-action shareholder lawsuit over an infamous sex scene squirreled away in the code of Grand Theft Auto: San Andres. Take-Two will stuff $20,115,000 into a …


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  1. Nathan Meyer

    Monkey See, Monkey Do?

    Monkey See, Monkey Do, that's the basic argument for censorship. Given the number of people who can't discern between fact and fancy, I find it harder to dismiss every day. Perhaps there should be some sort of test to authorize you as not a credulous cretin before you can watch, read or listen to certain things. Of course that would put a lot of people out of business. In any case, I'd rather those imitating primates watch consensual cartoon sex than violent theft and murder. And yes, I am thinking of the children.

  2. asdf

    thanks UK for all the religious retards

    Thats right here in the land of the free its fine for Steven Segal to break somebodys arm in prime time or see on CNN how we bombed the crap out of a bunch of poor brown people but god help anybody that actually sees a females naked breast. In American you get in more trouble for who you love than who you hate. How hypocritical in game where you can shoot somebody in the head and steal their car people get upset about sex. Again thank you UK for kicking your religious retards to the curb where they founded my beloved country and their retard ancestors would love to live like it was when they came over in 1600s.

  3. Lol 1

    How much do you wanna bet...

    That after they're finished being screwed for $20 million, they shoot them and take the money back?

  4. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    But it's not about the sex scene at all...

    It's just about shooting some dough out the door to make shareholders classactioning the company go away, yo!

    Ok ... shareholders classactioning the company ... can it get any more retarded? That's like asking for some money at shareholder meeting at gunpoint. Including from yourself. Nice doing, shouldn't such behaviour be criminalized?

    "served as a platform for politicians like Hillary Clinton and Joe Lieberman"

    More like, gave the usual populist sociopaths a platform to push their rancid faces into the news, right?

  5. BioTube


    Clearly your knowledge of history is weak: our forebears in ancient times thought everything not obtained at the point of a stick was worthless; this has survived as a taboo against showing people getting it on voluntarily.

  6. DiViDeD
    Paris Hilton

    But if you want a sex scene....

    In the game itself, quite early on, you and your mate go round to a drug dealers house to deal out some righteous.

    When you walk in, there's a guy on the sofa getting a blow job. I guess that was acceptable to the septics cos she kept her top on?

    Paris, because, well, something I wrote up there reminded me of her. Righteous, maybe?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Monkey See, Monkey Do

    So it's fine for morons to be driven to shoot people in the street but don't you dare encourage them to try interracial sex?

    Sounds about right.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What a pity...

    ...that the settlement wasn't for $100 M and all paid by the scum at GTA who profited greatly from being purveyors of scum to kids.

  9. Annihilator
    Thumb Up

    @ Lol1

    I like, but my preference is usually running them down instead. Why waste the bullets?

  10. deegee
    Thumb Down

    A real joke

    Any lawsuits against TT/RSG should have been dropped and the parents of any "children" playing GTA should have been thrown in jail instead.

    The game was rated M for Mature.

    To quote the ESRB from their site:


    Titles rated M (Mature) have content that may be suitable for persons ages 17 and older. Titles in this category may contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language."

    M may have Sexual Content people...

    The stickers on the game also often say "strong sexual content, partial nudity".

    I have GTA4 on my XBox360 which is also rated M 17+, and when audio is on you can hear the number of children playing the game is very high. Almost every game I connect to there is at least one kid somewhere between 10 and 13 playing it, which is easy to tell since his testicles haven't dropped yet... err... his voice hasn't changed yet.

    I guess that parents shouldn't be bothered with actually looking after little Johnnie though, that's what lawsuits are for.

    TT should be able to counter-sue any parent who purchases the game for their kids that are underage.

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Isn't shooting people a lot like sex?

    I mean, in both cases you are penetrating them with a phallic object.

    Only, sex doesn't usually injure....

    Odd people, the Americans.

  12. exit...quit...bye...quitbye.ctrl-C..ctrlX.ctrl-alt-X...aarrrr*slam*

    All hail the US...

    land of the free, and the brave, and ecetera. Where you can get a semiauto rifle at 16, a beer at 21 and never see a naked woman.

    Oh, look, boobies *BRZZZZT[carrier lost

  13. Anonymous Coward

    What a load of tosh!

    GTA...hmmm isn't that the game series where you, beat people up, nick stuff, then if they get out of line, you kill them? If the police don't like what you're doing, you can kill them too! A little sex scene seems hardly worth the bother compared to the rest of the stuff going on!

    Listen right-wing, moral-minority types:


    The keywords are ADULT and FANTASY, have you got that now?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I really do not understand this prudish attitude to sex. Especially in western democracies during times which are supposed to be liberated and enlightened. Did the sixties not happen? Seems the human race still has a way to go.

  15. SuperTim

    Hilarious Americans.

    I love this.

    Firstly the "hot coffee" patch was against the licence agreement by altering the supplied software, secondly it showed the sort of act that is at best on a par with the rest of the game, maturity wise but contained - GASP - Sex not killing. Thirdly, irresponsible american parents let little johnny play it and fourthly have the audacity to sue take two for their irresponsibility+Prudishness+hacking (note that all three must be present for this to make it to court, right?)

    Still, take two made a bunch* of money so it wont hurt them,

    * the amercian collective noun.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re:thanks UK

    Read the bloody article. This has relatively little to do with the UK.

    I'll also remind you where the Bible belt is located.

  17. Anonymous Coward

    Got to lovre censors

    How come if these types of games etc corrupt the people who are subjected to them, the censors aren't corrupted by them?

    Are they some special breed of uncorruptable individuals or just a bunch of whining hypocrites?

  18. lukewarmdog


    If there was some sort of test as the OP suggests then there would be precious few people governing either of our countries.

    Personally I feel that whilst Take Twos handling of the situation at the time was confusing, it shouldn't have resulted in a multi million dollar recall / payout situation. I suppose someone somewhere feels morally superior now but those people wouldn't know hot coffee sex if it injected itself into them.

  19. Hooch181


    Never understood the logic behind that, you can watch someone shoot someone in the face or set someone on fire but never (NEVER) should you see a nipple or any other perfectly normal sexual act between two consenting adults.

    @asdf: The plan worked then!

  20. bigphil9009


    Perfect man, just perfect :)

  21. dunncha

    A 'Hot Coffee' Worth $20 Million

    Gee Starbucks have put their prices up again. Hoot Hoot

    On a more serious note....'The game watchdog then declared game makers would henceforth be required to document all hidden and inaccessible content during the ratings process.'

    This would be intresting if it applied to Microsoft.... Who can remember playing Asteriods and Flight Sim in Microsoft Office.

    Please reveal all the bloatware you are pouring into your code please. Nah can't really see it happening.

    Icon Megaphone singing 'Baby Hit me One More Time' Because that's a much better message to send to the YoF

  22. John G Imrie

    American Sex

    OK let me just check I've got this right.

    Including a seen of consensual nookie = $20M fine

    Beating to death a man in a gimp suit with a 3 foot dildo = OK*

    God Bless America.

    * If you don't get the reference then go play the game, but only if gratuitous violence does not offend you.

  23. Yamthief

    What a joke

    People will sue over anything nowadays.

    This is how the "court case" should have gone:

    "Was this crappy pixelated sex scene accessible in the retail copy of the game?"


    "Case closed. Get the hell out of my court"

    What a farse.

  24. seanj

    <Insert Witty Title Here>

    I could understand if the developers had inserted (no pun intended) a full hardcore scene from the latest "Suzie Melonjugs Meets Mr WhopperChopper" caper, but this was 3D cartoon sex on a game not intended for minors anyway - worse, it is most likely BAD 3D cartoon sex (I've never been a fan of GTA or 3D graphics of that sort in general)! A society that complains about a sex scene in a game whose sole aim is to steal cars, kill pedestrians and police, and generally do other unwholesome stuff, seriously needs to realign their priorities.

    Oh, and @asdf: Hey, if the US were still a colony, you probably wouldn't have this problem - blame those mutinous colonials that wanted independence.... ;o)

  25. Anonymous Coward


    This lawsuit I really don't understand, hopefully some will be able to explain it to me...

    if the content wasn't actually accessible in the first place, and you actually had to go out of the way to view it, modifying game files etc, how the hell are take 2 totally responsible for it?

    does this mean software companies are responsible for all user generated content, whether they endorse it or not?

  26. Andy Blackburn
    Paris Hilton


    If only Hot Coffee could have been activated by the old: up up down down left right left right b a start combo...

    Paris... obviously

  27. Paul Hates Handles

    For fuck's sake

    20 million, for a game that had to be modded to actually do it. Argh.

    If I played Bible Adventures and search-and-replace references to love for rape can i sue because Jesus rapes us?

  28. Dale 3


    I hope those shareholders remembered to sell their stock before launching their suit. Not exactly the sort of thing that pumps up a stock price. Mind you, if it's the insurance company that's paying up most of the settlement amount, perhaps it's not such a bad idea to be suing yourself. How long until the insurance company catches on?

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Always stick to nicking cars and popping caps in innocent pedestrians"


    Are Americans totally fucking insane?

    Guns - good.

    Stealing cars - good.

    General murder - good.

    Cop killing - good.

    Prostitutes - good.

    Blowing up cars - good.

    Taking part in organises crime - good.

    Sex with your girlfriend - End of civilisation as we know it.

  30. M A Walters

    Shareholder lawsuit

    I don't get the point - this is like giving money using the right hand just to take it back with the left. Or am I missing something here? Did they not pay out enough dividends?

  31. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    American Taliban

    Like many others I just don't get the American psyche when it comes to a bit of tit and arse being unacceptable yet random murder is seemingly A-OK. Don't get me started on Americans who go apoplectic at the sight of baggy-trousers or an exposed thong strap.

    Paris : 'cos I bet she loves a bit of class action.

  32. Winkypop Silver badge

    Young Billy-Bob stop looking at porn!

    And come he'p me clean ma Assault Rifles...

  33. Adam Salisbury


    @ N Meyer - You're only thinking of the children whose parents aren't doing their job. That said despite my Dad forbidding me to play, I've played each and every incarnation of GTA ever made, I'll let you take a wild guess at how many times I thought "Wow, wouldn't doing this in real life be awesome". The people who do think like that shouldn't be allowed out without a carer.

    @ AC 04:21 - They're not purveying scum to kids, parents are letting them buy scum they're not old enough for.

    @ AC 06:50 - Thank you :)

  34. Ceiling Cat

    GTA-SA with "M" Rating

    I actually still own a retail copy of the "M" rated version. I haven't played it for quite a while, and when they put out the "cold tea" patch, there were some actual "bugfixes" that were included in the patch that solved a lot of problems for me.

    That having been said . . .

    The "coffee" was lukewarm at best in the un-patched version - Carl kept his underwear on while he was "cramming the mushroom". Surely it's impossible to "land the vicar" when he's tucked away in a pair of boxer-briefs?

    Mine's the one, etc. etc.

  35. Dave 30

    Worst Minigame Ever

    Let's not forget that, not only was this consensual sex with your girlfriend, it was also fully clothed consensual sex unless you hacked the textures as well as the game code.

    Furthermore, it was also the most shockingly boring mini game I have ever witnessed.

    I honestly think it wasn't left out to avoid offending people, it was left out to avoid people complaining about how painfully sh1t it was.

    It had the kind of input system that made '80s athletic games feel like fully immersive virtual reality.

    Face it, the average Christian American Youth is not going to spend it's evening corrupting the mortal soul by pressing left and right until carpal tunnel sets in. It will use Google fricking image search and a good old hand shandy.

  36. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    Does anyone know...

    ...what happened to those responsible inside Rockstar Games?

    "When word of the blue content spread, Take-Two first claimed it was created entirely by hackers – only later to admit the scene had inadvertently been left in the game's code by its developers at Rockstar Games."

    Presumably they have a proper version control system, allowing the management to pin down the individuals who actually checked in that content. Presumably that led to some Unfavourable Performance Reviews at the year's end, possibly involving a 3-foot dildo if (as suggested by another commenter) this is the preferred weapon thereabouts.

  37. EvilGav 1

    @ asdf

    You really should check your history.

    The US was founded by a group that left Europe due to being persecuted for their liberal attitudes.

    The fact that in the intervening years you've allowed the nut-job religious groups to settle/control/over-whelm your country is entirely your own doing.

  38. Alex 32


    *Smacks head with palm* ...You've got to be kidding me...!!


    *sides split, entrails fall to ground*


    Oh boy.. please *wipes tears from eyes* ..someone please stop him...


    Mine's the one with the American History school text book in the pocket..

  39. peyton?

    I don't get the confusion

    Parents buy their 12 year old a game.

    Game hack makes the news, which now brings to the parents' attention that the game is full of sex and violence.

    Parents are suddenly embarrassed that their crappy parenting has been brought to light and seek vengeance to redirect blame and assuage their culpability.

    For the 'silly Americans' posts, much of the fallout was due to the rating the game was released under, and how they would have to re-rate it 18+. It had *already* received an 18+ rating from the BBFC who, like their American counterparts, do in fact consider sexual content when making their decision.

  40. F1reman

    Why are we still so shocked by sex

    that's a really good point. what the hell was all the fuss about? over a sex scene between two consenting adults when the game is full of psychopathic violence?

    What is it Catholics (i.e. vast chunks of the west including the very conservative country of USA) have against sex? It's so weird.

  41. LuMan

    @AC 04:21

    Obviously you're AC because (i)you're totally stupid, or (ii)you have so little faith in your comment you don't even have the balls to put your name to it.

    Firstly, GTA is a GAME! The 'scum' at GTA are GAME CHARACTERS! They don't exist in the real world (much like your sense of concept). Perhaps you meant Rockstar... but then again.

    Secondly, Rockstar don't peddle to children. They sell to DISTRIBUTORS who sell to all manner of people and other VENDORS (in much the same way your baby milk arrives at your local shop). The reason children get the game is through distributors and vendors selling illegally, unfit parents or other folk who buy the stuff for them.

    Please let me know if this is going to quick for you and I'll try to provide pictures.....

  42. spezzer

    Hang On...

    why are the shareholders complaining???? surely the whole porn debacle increased sales anyway? i got to agree though - how fecking bizarre the fact the game is clearly intended for a mature audience, which begs the question - Exactly who was offended?

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Follow the money

    To see who profits from selling scumware to teens, all you need to do is follow the money.

  44. Anonymous Coward


    > is through distributors and vendors selling illegally,

    Not so. Well not in the US anyway. Many vendors choose to obey the M-17 sticker but a UK-like law making it illegal to see to minors would be in violation of the US free speech rules.

    This is why in the US they have loads of crazy twits (like Jack) but the UK only has the one (Vaz). And the one the UK has does not really understand what he is talking about and every now and again vomits out that the UK should start following the US system (make the UK system more relaxed I guess?)

    Mines the one with your wallet in. Woo!

  45. Mike 46
    Black Helicopters

    Soo, people over 18..

    Cant stomach sex anymore?

    I can see the dialog in some 20 odd years now; "I saw your vagina! Gimme your 20 million!"

    Course by that time you'll be lucky if you can buy a loaf with those 20. Not to mention the revolt of the robots, and the toasters.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ thank you UK

    I was rooting for the Indians myself, and the UK came into being after the 1600s was over.

    Though you are quite right, you did end up with the puritans, not quite liberal thinkers as some may believe, good firebrand preachers and god fearing souls in the main.

    The kickback is hilarious as well, american atheists are frightening, just one extreme to the next. Those poor Indians, with their rich spiritual culture, having to live on stony ground, due to belligerent boisterous belief nutjobs.

  47. Pablo

    This again...

    This just shows how insidious even "voluntary" censorship can be. Remember the ESRB ratings are not required by law, nor do they have any legal standing (it is not in fact illegal to sell an M game to child).

    But just about all major brick-and-mortar retailers refuse to carry unrated games (unrated movies are fine though, oddly enough). Likewise none of the popular game consoles allow unrated games.

    So in practice developers have no choice but to get game rated, if they want to have any chance of turning a profit. The only exception are low-budget games sold online.

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I would have no problem with the DMCA being used on the hackers. Offended at a cartoon sex scene but not being offended at breaking the law to see it.

  49. Andus McCoatover

    Sex scene? In America?

    OK, try the pr0n sites on internet. Hosted in Scotland? I think not.

    After all, all of us reading this are the product of a sex-scene.

    Bloody stupid Merkan God-botherers. Where's Adolf when we need him most?

  50. asdf

    last word

    Re: AC

    > Read the bloody article. This has relatively little to do with the UK.

    > I'll also remind you where the Bible belt is located.

    Umm you may not look so stupid and get the UK reference if you read more than the headline of my comment. As for the bible belt yes us free thinkers are painly aware where it is as its ignorance gives us things like liquor out of mason jars that makes you go blind, marrying your 13 yo cousin is socially acceptable, and Republican leaders that believe god wants them to be president.

    Re: EvilGav 1 - umm with a name like puritans do you think they were hippies? Do your own history search (or read Nathaniel Hawthorne) and see just how f__ked up these people were. As shown by the witch hunt at Salem they were not real tolerant of basically anything (friggin USA still home of witch hunts, sigh). In addition there are stories of how they were so "holy" they has sex with their wives with a sheet between the lovers so as not to see naked bodies (and probably to keep the woman from enjoying it). Also they were psycho christians (they left England cause it was too catholic), the catholics didn't come until later at which time they were abused badly (public school system was started in America to force Catholic kids to go to basically Protestant religious schools, again ty europe for the religious hatred).

    @Alex 32 - I will give you the other early group of people that came to America was the got to make a million it doesn't matter who dies crowd at Jamestown. We also still have plenty of those types in America as well (a strong argument could be made for Take Two itself lol). As again as Americans too often do I am discounting the Native Americas but the topic is not casinos so it should be ok (jk jk bad joke).

    @F1reman - America has many catholics but we are the ultimate example of a conservative protestant country (only english speaking country even close to as right wing as us is Australia).

  51. Rentrustic

    Why does nobody find out the details?

    Probably because it's more fun discussing it with the knee jerk minimal facts. :-P

    But seriously though, despite everyone getting all heated up about peoples morals and the prudishness of various slices of modern society, the details of this event are much more banal. This class action isn't about the fact that the scenes were in there but that the directors of Take Two knew they were in there but due to financial problems and wanting to get sales rolling they pushed for the release with it hidden hoping that no one would find it. That part comes under the engaging in false advertising and damaging company reputation bits. Then when the truth came out they lied about not knowing about it and tried to blame it on first malicious hackers then on the Rockstar developers. Meanwhile they were inside trading on their own stock the whole time and making extra money. Plus they added in issues with stock options being inappropriately valued to the advantage of the directors.

    Both versions are fun, just to different people.

    Mine's the one with the stock options in the pocket??

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